In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Fainting spells have a genetic basis, study suggests

By Erin Loury | (MCT) If catching sight of blood or standing all day makes you woozy enough to black out, your genes are partly to blame. Fainting, like dimples and dyslexia, can run in the family, a new study shows.

Fainting is fairly common — nearly one in four people experience it at least once during his or her lifetime. But researchers have long debated whether this behavior is written into our DNA or is more influenced by the environment around us.

Enter the identical twins. Studies of such siblings, whose genetic material is almost exactly the same, are one of the surest ways to figure out how much genes influence a particular trait.


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For this particular study, reported Tuesday in the journal Neurology, researchers in Australia and Germany put out a call for volunteers to the Australian Twin Registry, an organization that helps connect twins with medical and scientific researchers. Researchers recruited 36 pairs of identical twins and 21 pairs of same-sex fraternal twins (who are no more similar genetically than a regular brother or sister). In every pair, at least one twin had a confirmed fainting episode.

Researchers phoned up the twins and asked each about their fainting history, whether they had particular triggers or forewarning symptoms, and if any other family members also fainted.

In all, 57 percent of the study subjects said they reacted to typical fainting triggers, such as the sight of blood, injury and pain, medical procedures, prolonged standing or scary thoughts. Others said that additional factors brought on their fainting, such as illness or dehydration.

Pairs of identical twins were much more likely to both experience fainting than were pairs of fraternal twins, the researchers reported. This was especially true for fainting associated with common triggers, and for frequent fainters (those who had experienced three or more fainting episodes).

Since identical twins have essentially the same genes, and fraternal twins share only 50 percent of their genes on average, this makes a strong case that fainting is partly genetic.

The researchers don't think the tendency to faint is controlled by a single "fainting" gene, however. If that had been the case, they would have been able to trace the inheritance of that single gene as it was passed down through each twin pair's family tree. Instead, the researchers suspect it's a complex trait, like height or skin color, that results from multiple genes and environmental factors.

The study authors say the reasons for fainting probably span a spectrum from mostly genetic to mostly environmental, depending on the individual. Their results suggest that genes might play a larger role in people with more frequent fainting spells or who succumb to typical triggers such as blood or pain. Environmental factors may have a larger influence among those who faint infrequently and for less common reasons such as dehydration.

So if you're prone to fainting, best not to put your identical twin in charge of the smelling salts — chances are, he'll be needing a whiff as well.

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